Available on: iOS
Reviewed on: iPad
Crowned Apple’s app of the year, Flipboard is the premier information aggregator on the iOS. It allows the user to consume information in an enjoyable way while delivering customized content.
When we first opened Flipboard, we were welcomed with a neat page flipping animation from which the app derives its name. We were asked to sync our Twitter and Facebook accounts, which led us to the Flipboard content grid. The grid was a very intuitive way of portraying the content page as one could easily access all the default Flipboard headers and also the synced social networking headers.
As far customization of content went, the app allowed us to select a custom header. For example, for technology we had the ‘tech and science’ header which was further sub categorized to include some of the most popular technology blogs such as ‘Wired’, ‘CNET’ and ‘All things digital’. Once we selected these, we would get a header of the particular blog under the Flipboard contents grid.
We do feel that the customization options are not as streamlined as on Zite, but Flipboard offers a different experience on the whole. It has been designed to provide a more social experience as it does a brilliant job of compiling data from social networks which include images and content.
It gathers all the content trending on our social networks and presents it in a very cool magazine like layout.
It even plays video embedded in those sites but, unfortunately, Flipboard never seems to reveal the name of the author of a particular article, it only reveals the source. So if one is looking for an article authored by ‘David Pogue’ one will only receive the NYT link. This is a minor issue but it should be sorted out and the least they could do is give the author the credit for his work.
Interestingly, unlike Zite and Pulse, Flipboard just displays a part of the information in its own window and then redirects to the original website in a Safari like window. This maneuver has been deliberately adopted so that Flipboard does not violate copyright laws.
On the whole, it succeeds as an information aggregator but we do miss the customization options now available on other information aggregators such as Pulse and Zite.
Flipboard brilliantly aggregates information from social networks and various RSS Feeds but it does not offer the plethora of customization options that Zite does. It has neat animations, which enhance the experience. Flipboard and also does not blatantly violate copyright laws. The best part is that it’s free. Little wonder, then, that it won Apple’s app of the year award.
Usability – 4
Wow factor -4